Jim Coffey, Personal Reflections

Jim Coffey

I have had some extraordinary moments guiding and met some remarkable, prophetic people. I have also witnessed my share of impacted environments. I remember standing on the shore, admiring an awe inspiring falls on the threatened Rupert River in James Bay, Quebec. A giant hydro-electric scheme was threatening to take the water out of the river and divert it through a tunnel into a second river. This was not a new experiment for Hydro Quebec; a similar project reduced the massive Eastmain River just north into an ugly rocky channel. Major rivers, on the scale of the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon,reduced to barely discernible trickles. Standing next to me on shore was Jake Weistche, from the town of Waskaganish; the Cree First Nation Village that was to lose their river and way of life when they shut the water off. As we stood there admiring the falls, which were deafening, Jake said to me, “What do you hear?” I said, “I hear the roar of the rapid”. He said, "Listen closly... Mother Earth’s heart pounding.” Since that day I have always looked at and listened to rivers in a different way.

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